As we reach the middle of the school year, it is common for young people to start losing their motivation when it comes to school work. Why is it that some students flourish in the face of challenge and others seem to struggle? Further, how can we find a way for young people to encounter challenges and transitions that they face in school with resilience, confidence, and motivation? Peter Clough, a professor of psychology at the University of Huddersfield conceptualises these questions by exploring the idea of Mental Toughness.
What is Mental Toughness?
According to the Salford Foundation, mental toughness is explained as: “a personality trait which determines, in large part, how individuals respond to stress, pressure, challenge and change”. Though mental toughness comes naturally to some students, there are strategies to teach mental toughness and resilience to those who have anxieties and stress about school and its transitions.
Why teach Mental Toughness/Resilience?
Mental Toughness is not simply finding ways of coping in the face of emotional situations, rather it is feeling confident and resilient to seek out resources when in stressful and pressured situations. Having constant support in reaching this point is crucial to young people as we can not expect them to foster resilience on their own. With support, we can expect students to have, “[improved] exam performance, [eased] transition anxiety and, perhaps more important, to enhance well-being”(Clough). This is at the heart of what the Yes Futures programmes and coaching sessions accomplish with the young people we support.
How to teach Mental Toughness/Resilience?
The Yes Futures programme provides young people with the opportunity to reach their full potential and face challenges with confidence, motivation and most importantly resilience through personalised coaching sessions. We can accomplish this by using techniques such as, but not limited to goal setting, self-assessment, positive thinking, communication, and feedback.
“Yes Futures has helped me feel like a more resilient person and I can achieve more things by not giving up.” – Berenice, St Angela’s Ursuline School
We can not expect our students to all be at the same stages, but we are motivated to work with our students to teach them how to be resilient. Most importantly, we want to see “A future where all young people are confident, resilient and lead fulfilling lives.''
If you want more information, please take a look at our Rising Futures and Finding Futures programmes. Our programmes and coaching sessions help students to develop skills in four key areas: confidence, communication, resilience and self-awareness.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org,07908 687779 to find out more about our programmes!